Last Flight for Endeavour Postponed

STS-134, the final flight for the space shuttle Endeavour has been postponed from April 19 until April 29. The delay removes a scheduling conflict with a Russian Progress supply vehicle scheduled to launch April 27 and arrive at the station April 29.

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Obituary: James Vanover

James Vanover (b.1957), an employee of United Space Alliance, fell to his death from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on March 14. Vanover was helping prepare the space shuttle Endeavour for its final launch, scheduled for April 19. Vanover had worked at NASA since 1983. According to NASA officials, Vanover is the first launch pad fatality since 1981, shortly before the maiden launch of Columbia. More details have not been released pending a safety investigation.

Kelly Go For Shuttle Commander

Mark Kelly, whose wife Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head during a public meeting on January 8, has confirmed that he will command the final scheduled flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, currently scheduled for an April 19 launch. Kelly has flown three previous shuttle missions and his brother is currently on the ISS.

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Second Life for Shuttles

United Space Alliance has proposed the Commercial Space Transportation Service, which would keep two orbiters in the space shuttle fleet, Atlantis and Endeavour active and flying two missions each year from 2013 through 2017 while the United States gets a new generation of manned launch vehicles ready. NASA has not officially commented on the USA plan and is publicly stating that the current plans to send the three orbiters to museums.

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Endeavour Award Nominations

The nominees for the 2009 Endeavour Awards, to be presented at OryCon 32 for fiction written by Pacific Northwest authors, have been announced. The award includes a grant of $1,000. This year’s panel of judges included Robin Wayne Bailey, Laura Anne Gilman, and Madeleine Robins.

  • City Without End, by Kay Kenyon
  • Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight, by Cat Rambo
  • Hunting Ground, by Patricia Briggs
  • Mind Over Ship, by David Marusek
  • Push of the Sky, by Camille Alexa

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Shuttle Launch Delayed

NASA has announced it will delay the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour from its June 13 date. During fueling on Saturday, ground crews discovered a gaseous hydrogen leak. While NASA is working to fix the problem, the earliest date for the launch, June 17, is already scheduled with the launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which also causes a conflict with the Air Force Eastern Range which would provide telemetry and tracking for both launches. The goal remains to launch Endeavour in June, although any June launch would have to take place prior to June 20.

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